Check out my very first Business Q & A Session! The question today: "I struggle with putting myself out there as an expert of any type. How do I get past this?" If you have a question that you'd like me to answer please email me: Lenise@LeniseWilliams.com Let me know your thoughts on this topic below in the comment section!
It is that time of the year when the leaves fall and the trees look bare and not so pleasant anymore. However when the seasons change again after the new year, the trees come back greener and even stronger. The entire time the tree was perceived as "ugly" it was preparing for new leaves, a fresh look and a new season. Are you ready to drop some leaves and get ready for a new season?
I know I typically talk/write about business, business, business, but today I am going to take a different route and get a little personal. I hope that is ok with you :) I am in no way a life coach, a therapist or anything even closely related. However as an Entrepreneur Educator, Consultant and Attorney I have seen it all when it comes to business. I tell people all the time that I see the good, the bad and the ugly of business!
One thing that I have seen consistently is that when an entrepreneur gets impatient or feels frustration in their season in life and in business they lose confidence. Maintaining confidence is key for an entrepreneur.
Here are 3 tips for my rockstar entrepreneurs to keep their confidence high & hang on through the "ugly" season:
Remain Grateful: Things may look grim in life and in business, but hang on to the good thoughts. Make a list of all your accomplishments large and small. Reflect on them daily and remember how you were able to achieve them. In addition be excited and proud of yourself for your accomplishments! Way to Go!!! (Insert virtual high five here)
Let Go: Make a list of what causes you stress in your business as well as your personal life. Whatever is on that list that you can eliminate or delegate do it ASAP! This does not apply to things like paying bills, caring for children and showering!
Same Goal; New Plan: Things may not be going the way that you would like. That does not always mean that it is time to throw in the towel. Now may be a good time to reorganize your ideas and restrategize your efforts. You may need the help of a mentor, consultant or just a great friend with amazing insight in the area which you are having difficulty. Having someone on the outside looking in with a fresh set of eyes can bring you to new levels of success. Your goal is likely driven by your passion. Don't let go of your passion, just go in full speed and attack it from a different angle! POW! BAM! BOOM!
Even if you are not in an "ugly" season which of these 3 techniques can you improve or implement TODAY? I'd love to know! Comment below.
1. Take yourself seriously. If you treat your business like it’s a quick way to make money it will become just that. Believe in yourself and your services/products. Tell people you are a professional, present yourself as a professional and maintain a work ethic like a professional. Invest in your business, your business development and mentorship. If you take yourself & what you do seriously so will others.
2. Do your homework. Yes, your history homework. Look at businesses or entrepreneurs that you admire. Those superheroes likely had humble beginnings. Do a bit of research to find out what their early days were like. Learn from their lessons and study how they grew their legacy.
3. Think BIG but start SMALL. Entrepreneurship is a marathon not a sprint! Take your time. Don’t make your business a big business until you have established yourself in the industry. Instead let the business grow with you. Trying to grow with the big business you create may set you up for a quick hustle instead of a lasting legacy. However plan and run your business like it’s an EMPIRE! If you are prepared for the business to become HUGE it won’t take you by surprise.
4. Redefine. There comes a time in your business when you may have to reinvent your brand. Redefining and reinventing your business to stay relevant is necessary! You may need to redefine things a bit when you grow, or when you want appeal to a new audience. Don’t be afraid to take your business in a different direction than you initially planned. You can tweak things, but still stay inline with your purpose, mission and personal morals.
5. Watch your cash flow. Always pay attention to how much money is coming in and how much money is going out. Find ways to keep your overhead low. I do not encourage any business to cut corners; however if you can save a few dollars here or there do it! Buy things in bulk, buy less of something you do not use often, shop around for the best pricing from manufacturers. Losing or wasting money is the quickest way to have to stop your hustle and get a new one. I don’t know about you, but I want a consistent business/ legacy and not the stress of finding new hustles!
I know everyone is different so I ask: what would you rather a hustle or a legacy?
Photo Credit: E37 Photography
1. I love to learn
I was able to walk way with little nuggets from each break out session. At the conference in Baltimore I was invited as a speaker; however I see it more as an opportunity to travel and get access to great information from other speakers without having to buy a ticket! HA! Before and after I speak I am typically the person in the front row with my pen and paper ready! Although I am a business consultant and I eat, sleep and dream business and entrepreneurship I never feel as if I know everything. Hearing different perspectives, different techniques and strategies is a method to learn a new style or it confirms that your way works best for you. Regardless of how much an individual may feel that they know; it is always advantageous to be a student.
2. The networking/netweaving is better than the food
Well the food was pretty darn amazing at both conferences, but if I had to pick networking/netweaving (see this posting for explanation of netweaving) over the yummy grilled chicken or the delicious grilled salmon I ate, I'd definitely forego the food! Most times I eat before I go to events. I eat so that I allow myself more time to talk to others. If I am so busy stuffing my mouth with food it makes it very difficult to connect with others. It is so very important to take advantage of so many like-minded people being in the same space. It is the best time to chat with some you may have been wanting to meet or an opportunity to reconnect with others.
I like to look at the list of speakers before the event and decide which sessions I will attend before I even purchase my ticket. If someone that I have been wanting to connect with is speaking I make sure to attend that session and sit front and center! Front and center is the easiest path to enable you to speak with them after their session concludes. I already know what questions I want to ask, I already know what I want to tell them. I don't like wasting anyone's time for I don't like for anyone to waste mine. If you do not go to a conference to open up and meet prospective clients, prospective joint venture partners or marketing partners, you should save your money and just attend a virtual seminar. MAXIMIZE the value of that ticket you purchased!
3. I Run Out of Content Ideas
As a person that likes to provide great blogs, webinars, etc I sometimes run out of good stuff to write/talk about! That has no measure on how much I really know. That just lets me know that I need to get out and learn more about what people want. Many times the conference organizers research what the hot topics are; they know what the people want to know about. I will be honest, I often have so many trademarks to register and so many deadlines to meet that I honestly go brain dead when it is time for me to give you all great content. The organizers eliminate the hard work associated with research. Why reinvent the wheel, right?! Seminar titles, tips that the speakers share or even just a quote that they recite triggers my brain and gives me an idea for something amazing to provide to my readers/listeners. That is why my pen and paper or sometimes even my iPhone notepad is a MUST! I jot my ideas and refer to them later. Ha... now you know my secret for maintaining good content ;)
4. I just need to get out (sad, i know...lol)
I spend a lot of time behind my computer drafting documents, emailing and assisting my clients. The other part of my day is spent on the phone. When I imagined my life as an entrepreneur I imagined a bit more excitement! Yes, it gets lonely sometimes. I learned a few years back that it is important to make an effort to be around people other than your clients and your team. It is great to get out and socialize with an entire conference room of people that actually are like me and like to talk about business. I am so "business obsessed" that I even like to talk about it when I am not even paid to do so. It is exciting to be in a room full of people that are just as eager to talk about the same things for which I have an interest... I am a bit of a nerd lol
I encourage you to invest in yourself and attend as many Conferences as possible. It is said that many deals happen on the golf course. However I can say the same for the deals made at conferences. Maximize your experience! That way even if the conference provides poor content you won't feel regret! As for myself, I do not plan to rehabilitate myself from my addiction. I have 2 more events on my October calendar!
For more info on Moms as Entrepreneurs visit: www.maeentreprenur.com (Launch Oct 15)
For more info on Altanta Business League visit: www.atlantabusinessleague.org